Every year, we say how much has changed in the industry – and every year, we’re right.
It never ceases to amaze me how much SEO constantly refines itself to more sophisticated Google guidelines and smarter, savvier searchers. Think about it: Since 2011, Moz has counted more than 83 major algorithm updates to the search engine giant.
That’s 83 times we’ve had to change our tactics in three years! Can you think of any other industry that has gone through that much fluctuation? Unlikely.
So, as part of the end-of-year trends, let’s take a look back on everything that went down this in 2014.
Expedia was the first big brand of the year to get reportedly hit by a penalty for unnatural link building. Rankings plummeted, and Searchmetrics suggested the company lost 25% of its visibility in Google because of the penalty.
Matt Cutts put the hammer down on guest blogging, urging any SEO using this tactic as a way to build links to cease fire of suffer the consequences.
Rap Genius is finally back on Google after getting doled a manual penalty in late 2013 for link schemes.
Google announced a new Googlebot user-agent for crawling mobile content. “Googlebot-Mobile” was retired in place of the standard Googlebot, causing webmasters to update their robots.txt and technical structure of their site for mobile optimization.
Webmasters started chatting about an update after seeing fluctuations in Google’s search results. Google never confirmed an update, but SERPs.com (among many others) noted a heavy increase in Google’s index volatility.